Gluten free banana bread is the latest breakfast craze around our house. Over the years, I’ve made banana bread and banana muffins more ways than I can count.
Gluten Free Bread Baking
Going gluten free presents a special set of challenges when it comes to baking.
One of the biggest problems with the gluten free flours on the market is that the all-purpose ones are not at all suitable for baking bread (except for this line of healthy gluten free flour mixes).
Think about it this way ….
The texture of a slice of bread is quite different in comparison with a piece of cake. Ideally, bread is a bit chewy (more so for sourdough bread) and cake is not.
As a result, successful blending of gluten free flour for pastry making versus bread making requires different percentages of the whole grains used. This difference greatly affects the outcome of the recipe, which is why a standard gluten free all-purpose flour from the store does not work very well for making bread even when you are attempting a simple gluten free banana bread.
Another serious problem with gluten free flour from the store is that up to half its weight is refined starch (as opposed to beneficial resistant starch). This starch is just empty calories, lacking in nutrients and flavor that benefits neither you nor your baking. Starchy flour also means that you are more likely to overeat anything made with it, as a low nutrient food takes longer to satisfy and means we get hungry again faster. It can encourage sugar cravings and candida problems to flare in susceptible individuals.
As a result, if you plan to make gluten free bread, it is best to mix it up yourself. This guide for making gluten free flour at home shows you how to do just that for a variety of baked goods. Otherwise, be sure of your flour source to ensure that no empty forms of starch are added, and that the flour blend is made specifically for bread making.
Healthy Gluten Free Banana Bread Recipe
Makes 1 medium loaf
2 cups freshly ground gluten free bread flour (sources)
3-4 very ripe bananas
1/2 cup expeller pressed coconut oil or grassfed butter (sources)
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup evaporated cane sugar (sources)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp aluminum free baking powder (baking powder recipe)
1/2 tsp of sea salt
Mix the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a large bowl. Mash the ripe bananas and then blend with the beaten eggs, sugar, vanilla and melted butter in another bowl.
*Please do not substitute honey for the evaporated cane sugar as cooking honey is not a healthy practice. This article explains more on this topic.
Carefully blend the flour with the egg mixture until thoroughly combined into bread dough.
Preheat the oven to 325 ºF/163 ºC.
Grease a medium to large bread pan (I use these glass loaf pans) and pour in the batter taking care to leave an inch or so at the top to allow for expansion of the loaf while baking.
Bake for about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
If desired, remove loaf pan about 5 minutes before it is done to brush the top with melted butter. Then, put the loaf pan back into the oven for the remainder of the cooking time. This will brown the top so that the loaf resembles banana bread made with wheat flour.
Allow to loaf to cool completely before removing from the bread pan to ensure that it comes out in one piece.
Slice and serve. I recommend a healthy slab of butter on top of each slice as shown in the picture above.
Gluten free banana bread is fine to keep covered on the counter for a day or so. Warm each piece before serving or enjoy at room temperature. Be sure to refrigerate any bread that won’t be used within two days.
Sarah, The Healthy Home Economist
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